The state of Washington will be well represented during NBA All-Star Weekend.
Klay Thompson is set to become the first former Washington State Cougar to start in an NBA All-Star Game. Ex-Seattle SuperSonic Kevin Durant will be one of Thompson’s teammates on the Western Conference squad Sunday at Madison Square Garden in New York (5:30 p.m., TNT).
Thompson replaces his boyhood idol, the injured Kobe Bryant, in the starting lineup. The only other former Cougar to play in an NBA All-Star Game was former SuperSonics center James Donaldson, who represented Dallas in 1988.
Thompson, a guard on the Golden State Warriors, also participates in the 3-point shooting contest that is part of Saturday’s skills competition at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (5:30 p.m., TNT). Thompson ranks sixth in the NBA with 44 percent shooting on 3-pointers, and he’s 10th in scoring with 22.1 points per game.
Another shooting contest Saturday involves Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird, former Storm guard Swin Cash of the New York Liberty and ex-Washington Huskies guard Isaiah Thomas of the Phoenix Suns. Teams consist of one active NBA player, one active WNBA player and one former NBA player.
Former Gonzaga standout Kelly Olynyk plays in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday at the Barclays Center (6 p.m., TNT). Olynyk, a Boston Celtics forward from Canada, plays for the World team against the U.S. team in a battle between players in their first or second seasons in the NBA.